Dana Hills Football Players Asking for Support

The Dana Hills Football Team were out canvassing neighborhoods for sponsorships for the lift-a-thon after practice last night. With budget cuts for education in the State of California now more than ever atheletes must raise money to be able to play sports. Please be generous, or at least kind when they ask you for a donation.

Come out and watch the lift-a thon, young men lifting weighs for funds for the team.

Saturday, July 16 • 8:00am - 11:00am


Location Dana Hills High School

33333 Golden Lantern

Dana Point, CA

Dinner my house Friday night to make some plans for the freshman team to raise $20000 (11% of total goal)


Bad News for Orange County Homeowners

Gary Anderson posts that with the conforming loan limit decreasing values in California for high end homes will fall. I predict that by Christmas of 2011 homes in Orange County valued today from $800,000. to two million will decrease eight percent more, and condominiums ten percent more, unless the Fed changes direction.

Unfortunately I am right in there.

Greed Free

Caroline Gerardo's short fiction story Greed is Free on Amazon released June 2011
Short story Lust released on Amazon June 26th 2011

Whole Foods Coming to Laguna Niguel

whole foodsI am happy to announce that work has begun remodeling the space where Tall Mouse closed on Aliso Creek Road. I am a fan of Whole Foods, twice a week I visit the store in Laguna. The store in Laguna Niguel will be larger and no competing healthy market is nearby. Henry's on La Paz does not carry the cold case and produce variety that the much smaller Whole Foods does in Laguna Beach. This also is excellent use of a large space in a market where vacancy has become the norm. Please join me in celebrating and supporting this store.


Real Estate Horror Stories

Gary Anderson writes:

Buyer beware in foreclosures and short sales. Go to the link to read his article.
Reports of banks playing bidding war, covering up mold infestation, and closing with a
swoop in cash buyer.

Gary Anderson, Author
"House Before" Photograph copyright Caroline Gerardo Barbeau 2011


Orange County California Real Estate, Laguna Beach: Barney Frank Plays with YOUR Home

Orange County California Real Estate, Laguna Beach: Barney Frank Plays with YOUR Home

Barney Frank Plays with YOUR Home

Barney's New Play House
copyright Caroline Gerardo
APRIL Fools You thought the Dodd Frank Bill was going to improve the mortgage business, no way.

As of tomorrow new regulations are enacted which have lenders spinning to force employees to sign new employment agreements.

Let me review a few points that will forever harm the consumer further when applying for a home loan.

A. Commission are regulated to not allow any “overage” and pay is capped. Sounds like structurally good ideas but the logic is all foul. Overage was a tool that a private mortgage broker, the individual loan shark used to hedge on several factors. A loan lock is a commodity with a set expiration date. If for some unforeseen reason the loan goes over the date, someone has to pay.

In today’s mountain of paperwork review it is not uncommon= for Underwriters to ask for: a child’s birth certificate, verification of every deposit you made into your accounts in the past three months and standard for lenders to double check everything with the IRS, your employer, and your landlord. If one piece of paper stalls the process, the cost to extend can be huge. If rates

The days of the part time bartender loan guy who can charge you five points hidden in the rate have been gone for two years. Customers can easily walk to the next bank with their pdf files and relock on a better day.

Here is another one of the Dodd Frank Mouse traps: underage. This sneaky tidbit was misunderstood by Senator Dodd. Lenders sometimes price a loan so skinny to beat the competition on minor costs. The savings was passed to a borrower who usually had a clean easy file. This is no longer allowed. Every American is now guaranteed a deal priced the same, even when the bank makes an error –the sales person will not be paid and the chance of your loan closing now declined to .1%

The problem with this theory is each family is not the same. A family with boulders of ghosts in their proverbial closet, cannot be delivered the same piece of cake as a cookie cutter wage earner.

Americans have been holding their fists up at the greedy banks, forgetting that they signed the promissory note and were all too happy to get $ 45000 cash out to buy a boat.

Oh and wait until I tell you about the banks program to charge you for using your DEBIT card, all because of another brilliant Bill by Dodd and Frank.
If you are wondering why your lender is now scrambling to close, call Congressman Barney Frank and complain. His number is (202) 225-5931


Bank Robbers Hate Penny Pinchers

How to avoid the pin skimmers and bank robbers.

How to get around the new bank plan to charge you for using a debit card

Organized crime actually will set up cameras to see you manually punch the numbers and steal the information code. Although most banks cover the loss, it is a nightmare to have your account tapped and defrauded.

Today's skimmer is a small piece of plastic that is crazy-glued on the outside of a gas station or retail store credit card slider. The slider should not protrude from the machine. Wiggle it and see if it will come loose. Cover your hand over the hand typing in the security code. Change your codes frequently on line or in the bank.

The next person in your pocket is going to be the banks themselves. I use debit rather than credit cards, as have many Americans in this Third Great Depression. Some Senator and a man named Barney Frank / Dodd decided they should limit what banks may charge vendors for debit transactions. The new law goes into place in weeks. Banks will be charging you for number of debit transactions. The law limits the amount a bank may charge to 12 cents. In the past banks, credit unions and financial institutions charged 44 on average. Since banks are not operating on charity and income is squeezed for them they will pass the charge to you.

If you have a checking account at any big box bank, take a look at your statement very carefully. Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo are no longer free checking. If you overdraft a check, the pain of fees on top of more costs is going to bite. I plan to get rid of the many duplicate accounts, but you have to go into a branch in person and check that no more direct deposit or auto drafts will be forgotten.

Be diligent in your penny pinching. Ask the banker for waiver of fees in the meanwhile.


Just a little spring color from Bill's garden.
Fortunately we did not have the giant wave here at seven thirty this morning.


Swallows Come Back to Capistrano March 19th

swallow cecropis duarica
March 19th the Mission in San Juan Capistrano is celebrating St. Joseph’s Day and the date the Swallows are to return. It is an old fashioned family party. Come join the live music and bring your camera. You ask what does St. Joseph have to do with the swallows?

They are celebrating the feast day of St. Joseph, the husband of Mary. Joseph was a humble carpenter. St Joseph is the kind of man you might choose for a Dad. We know when he took Jesus to be circumcised at the temple to be purified he offered of two turtledoves or a pair of pigeons, allowed only for those who could not afford a lamb (Luke 2:24).

 An angel came to Joe in a dream and told him Mary was pregnant with God’s child, without question he married Mary. This was during a time when adultery was punishable by death. A real man.

Enough of my side line catechism, what is the connection? The old padres at the mission knew on the feast day of St. Joseph the birds return. Some say it is to honor the Saint. Others might tell you it is the bells that bring the the martins home. I just hope the increasing flocks of crows here don’t scare them away.

Enjoy looking for their mud nests under the 5 Freeway, and come out for the fun.


Are You Telegraphing the Wrong Message?

photograph Caroline Gerardo copyright "My children goofing around"

When Gen Kai re-opened after the fire they posted this cheerful welcome back sign. The neighbors had rumored questions about the cause of the destruction. I am not certain the home made banner aided in their recovery. I think Dana Kai is superior sushi. The sushi wars is another story. As long as it is fresh, yum.

I would never run around saying the sky is falling, it is not in my nature to be negative. I might tell you the clouds look particularly full of an unusual number of  full blown asteroids in large shapes and sizes traveling here at a hundred thousand miles per hour.

The tone we use with our children, the greeting to the tired guy at the register, and how we carry ourselves each moment I believe have long term outcomes that we control the universe. Today I witnessed an unusually cranky customer at the bank. She came in the glass door opening it the wrong way forcefully, loud yelling.

"You people have ripped me off long enough!"

The teller kindly inquires, " is there something I can change for you?"

"Change. Change your face."

"Madam I am happy to hear what you need."

The customer goes on with curse words about how the bank bounced her check and caused a roll of problems.

The teller notices, "is this the account statement you are speaking about?"

She points to a statement from another bank, not ours, in the woman's hands. Similar in name, but not the same. The woman comes to realize she has just unloaded on the poor teller and everyone else around - spreading a negative energy that she mistakenly blasted upon others. She does not apologize. She
curses again and storms out.

So it's a kind of extreme example, but she could have gotten so much help from the sweet teller had she started with sugar rather than vinegar. And working in a bank is a sitcom in of it's own new copyright- well yes love and inspiration and new health for all in the T.V. show I will write the treatment... another digression.  First impressions are like this as well, start with your smile and whiten it up and I don't mean with Crest white strips. I refer to having a happy attitude, when you are doing cold calls.

O. K. enough of my valentine love everyone post. xx00


Happy Valentines Day
Keep it Simple. Be Mine :)

Novel live on Amazon, stores soon

Toxic AssetsToxic Assets
See below for more details.

Party at my house next week
The link is live.
Already made sales this morning.

Thank you Heavens I am so blessed.

What a great Valentines Day.


Powder Blue Mailer



Did you receive your second innocent looking baby boy blue mailer from Kramer and Kaslow Law today?

They promise you  $75000.00 and you won't have to pay your mortgage back to Chase or Bank of America or Wells Fargo... But they have not filed any lawsuit on the behalf of any Borrowers, yet. They are just looking for customers to give them a $ 5000.00 retainer.

Anything that looks too good to be true, probably is.


Stay on Track

Sometimes avoiding temptations is just scheduling routines.
It is brain patterns and neuro pathways we build.

Write the goals - for work , heath, life in 5 years.
Keep acting along the lines of production, action, and courage.

Resist temptations.

Know your true heart and you will succeed.

Photograph copyright Caroline Gerardo all rights reserved


Orange County Sparks a Recovery?

It's spring and I feel the turn. It will be 79 degrees here today. I can see a Goldrush of people in the NorthEast who might be tired of shoveling snow moving here. How can we attract them? Jobs?


Freddie MAC Guest Speaker



Dr. Frank Nothaft

Chief Economist for Freddie MAC

Dr. Nothaft will address national and local economic conditions and the real estate environment

DATE: February 7th 2011

The Doubletree Hotel

8:00 AM - 12 PM Breakfast will be served



Rent or Buy?

Is it time to buy or rent?

Timing is everything.

The choice should be a business decision not an emotional one. If the bank tells you your ratios are too high, take it as a blessing that this is not a sound selection at this time.


Buying a house is a tax deduction (assuming you need a deduction).

Owning a house gives you the freedom to stay as long as you like and do what you want.


If you are thinking employment promotion or moves upward- you will be stuck with location.

Often you can rent cheaper, but with a limited palette and expect increases.


Buy less than you think you can afford which allows breathing room.

Put as little down payment as you might and let the insurers’ bear the worry.

Shop very carefully for a deal.

Take your time. Do not fall in love with a house it is just a thing.

Enlist expert representation and investigate everything.

Everything in the universe falls apart- have a budget for those older items in the house.


If you save junk long enough, it is still junk

My children love their gadgets. We have had stolen, broken and lost six iPhones. Fortunately, I bought Apple stock when it was initial public offering, and continued to buy and sell so all the shares I own I consider gravy. I asked them to compile all the old phones and cords in a drawer, as they can be recycled.

Son thought we could sell them to one of the online companies that advertise, “We buy used cell phones.” Well after making his list and entering the old pager, ancient Nokias and all this junk the total value was less than two dollars.

He packed them up because his middle school, Niguel Hills collects them and ships them to needy children. This is better than having them sit in a drawer waiting to be on the Antiques Roadshow.


Commercial Vacancies Rising

All the big stores gone. Broadway, Buffums, Bullocks, Butler Bros, City of Paris, Fedco, Fedmart, Fedway, Gottschalks, Harris, Hinshaws, I Magnin, Joseph Magnin, May, Mervyns, FC Nash, Pragers, J W Robinson, Sage, Zody's.
77000 square feet available - has been empty almost three years over a lawsuit.  Who would brave to open a big box store? 

OCJAAF Season is Over LNLL already starts

Friday night we turned in our football gear at the La Paz field. Cowboy football season is over.

"This is the last time we will walk up this hill," my son paused as we carried the conflict jersey, pants and gladiator gear all clean to be stored for another team next year.

We could buy the helmet for fifty dollars, but son decided it was better to let someone else wear all his stickers for A's and share the good fortune. He wrote a tiny note inside in permanent ink.

"Never give up."

The image is just a little shaking, but I think that quality does it justice.

P.S. BASEBALL season already started. LNLL We are the Beavers. Our mascot doesn't sound too inspiring. 


my camera has a mind of it's own

Accidental Self Portrait
Don't you love it when you are holding your camera and it just does what ever it wants to see.

Reflections before the snow. So Blessed not to be in New York this week. May everyone keep warm. Here the temperature is 78 in Orange County and I am sitting in the sun without a sweater.


Laguna Canyon Flood images- cleanup of mud, debris and what now?

Dig in and work.

The animal shelter appears devastated. No dogs or cats died in the flood, but they were actually swimming. Temporary quarters are being arranged and they are in need of donations of blankets, dog beds and toys. Call me if you can’t deliver I will pick up and drop off.

The marine Mammal center looks worse.

The best solution I can recommend is major fundraising to rebuild these structures on concrete piers, assuming another flood will happen in ten years. There are several contributing factors to the long term mess: 1. A variety of individuals and municipalities own the land and creek 2. It is a natural flood basin 3.Building of the 73 highway did not accommodate large enough catch basins for runoff and actually cause more spillage over the sides 4. Water goes where it wants to go.

Back of kennels- debris has been scraped.